In the current social media climate of heavily filtered Instagram pictures, augmented snapchat selfies and a plethora of apps that allow you to digitally edit and alter your image, is it really surprising that a new non-human form of modelling is on its way?
These non-human models have a deceptively human appearance and at times it can be hard to tell the difference.
Meet Miquela Sousa, the 19 year old LA based Instagramer who loves Beyonce, dreams about being in a Drake music video and enjoys the occasional surprise valentines day taco. Since she opened her account in 2016 she has gained over 1 million followers.
2 months ago Miquela, known as ‘lilmiquela,’ on Instagram posted a confession, “Here’s the hard part. My hands are literally shaking. I’m not a human being.”
Miquela is the creation of the Los Angeles start-up company Brud. Though Brud has described themselves as a group of “problem solvers specialising in robotics, artificial intelligence and their applications to media businesses,” is seems like their creation functions more effectively as a marketing ploy. A social media expert from Pepper IT, Ryan Shelley commented on Miquala, citing her Instagram as “Their brochure … their demonstration to the market.”
The post in which Miquela revealed her secret was supposedly the result of her being hacked by another CGI Instagram star called Bermuda.
Miquela’s ‘feelings’ on coming to grips with the fact that she isn’t human was carefully curated in a nervous and vulnerable post meant to gain the sympathy (or morbid curiosity) of her followers. It worked, with the number of Miquela followers rapidly increasing.
This all begs the question — is this ethical? Or is it just an elaborate form of catfishing to influence people into buying things?
Other CGI models who have amassed a substantial following include Shudu (@shudu.gram), created by British photographer Cameron-James Wilson, Bermuda (@bermudaisbae) and Blawko (@Blawko22).
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